By: Sophia Iannelli
Entering the workforce after graduating is such an exciting time, but can also be super intimidating. At the “Kick-Start Your Career: Tips from New Professionals” panel at the PRSSA 2018 National Conference, recent graduates, Gemrick Curtom, Robyn Rudish-Laning, Hannah Porterfield, and Mia Simon, shared their thoughts on what it is like to join the PR industry post-graduation.
Here are just a few tips these new professionals discussed during the panel.
Don’t underestimate LinkedIn and other social media platforms. In today’s world, social media is where a lot of connections are made and really valuable networking can happen. Rudish-Laning explained that you can make really helpful connections through LinkedIn and other platforms that can help you land that first job; you just can’t underestimate the power of social media.
You need to ask for what you want. Simon shared that just because you are new to the industry doesn’t mean you have to let people walk over you. You can still ask leadership for what you want and what you think you deserve. You will be noticed if you exude confidence and make it clear what you want from the beginning.
Don’t forget about your peers. So many people focus on impressing long-time professionals while trying to land a job or get a promotion that they forget how important their peers are. The people that are at your level will be with you at the top someday, and keeping those connections strong and growing will only benefit you and your team in the future.
Never overpromise things to a client. Once you have your first client it makes sense to want to impress them and show them everything you’ve learned throughout your college career. But, you never want to overpromise something to a client that you may not be able to achieve. “You want to set realistic goals and manage the client’s expectations,” Curtom said.
There are so many other things to learn as a new professional that aren’t on this list and a great way to gain that knowledge is through the New Professionals Section of PRSA. Once you graduate you are able to join this group of professionals who are new to the industry with less than five years of experience. You can find out more about the New Professionals Section here.